Coronavirus Update
Congress is working hard with President Trump and the Administration to address the coronavirus. The first package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump contained approximately $8 billion to support state and local response efforts, increase the availability of testing, assist small businesses, and more. Another package was signed by President Trump this week to provide free testing, emergency paid leave, and more. We are now working on a third package to address our current economic situation and support employees and businesses who have been devastated by this pandemic. 

The challenges created by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented for all of us. As we navigate these uncharted times together, I will continue to compile helpful resources and share them on

I discussed this and more on this edition of Buddy's Briefings. 

If you need assistance or have any questions about the coronavirus response, please don't hesitate to call our office in Savannah at 912-352-0101 or Brunswick at 912-265-9010.

SBA Disaster Declaration
Georgia has received an official statewide disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This declaration will provide assistance in the form of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. 

Small business owners should click here for more information and the application. You can also click here for a fact sheet from SBA with more information. 

As a small business owner for more than 30 years, I know that small businesses are the backbone of this nation. I am committed to doing everything I can for our local businesses and employees.

pharmaceutical independence
The coronavirus is an important wake-up call about the critical need for America’s pharmaceutical independence. We can’t continue to be dependent on foreign markets like China and India for medications Americans depend on every day. I'm currently working in Congress to address this. I joined Fox and Friends to discuss the need to bring pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States. Click here to see our discussion. 

10 GOP Doctors Caucus members: Coronavirus will be defeated – here's how Americans, together, will do it
I wrote an op-ed on Fox News with other medical professionals in Congress about our nation defeating the coronavirus together. Click here to read it. 

from our nation's capitol CCLVIII
Monday, March 16, 2020:  Yesterday, I was up and ready at 6:30 a.m. for my two hour drive down to Jacksonville, FL, where I was a guest on Fox and Friends on Fox News to discuss the coronavirus impact on the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain.  Along with hosts Stuart Varney and Pete Hegseth, Dr. Mehmet Oz and I discussed the coronavirus pandemic and the reliance we have on other countries for our pharmaceutical supplies.  A link to my interview can be found here.  Since we were originally scheduled to be in the District this week, I have a number of office meetings set up, many of which have either been cancelled or changed to conference calls.  Once in my Savannah office this morning, I meet with representatives from Oceana to discuss their items of interest including the SAVE the Right Whales Act, plastic pollution awareness and offshore energy.  Next, I have a meeting with my good friends from Curtis V. Cooper Community Health Center in Savannah, including Chatham County Commissioner Helen Stone, Dr. Fariborz Zaer and CEO Albert Grandy. After hearing of their work on the coronavirus pandemic as well as their ongoing work as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), my next meeting is with a constituent who is concerned with mental health issues in our state and has started Mental Health Alert, a non-profit that sells rubber wristbands that have the acronym CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) on them.  The wristbands are to be worn by those with a mental health diagnosis to help law enforcement officers’ better control/identify situations where they are dealing with a mentally ill individual.  Afterwards, we have our first all-staff conference call for this week.  While we usually have separate calls for our Washington and district staffs, with the coronavirus pandemic in full swing and demanding the attention of all of us, we have decided to combine the calls.  Later, I join other members of the Georgia congressional delegation for a call with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to discuss state efforts on addressing the coronavirus pandemic.  My next conference call is with Effingham County School Superintendent Randy Shearouse who gives me an update on their plans and preparations.  While the state has not yet called for a unified response on behalf of the school systems, one is expected soon. Throughout the day, I am in constant contact with our Washington and district staff as we are working on many, many issues, including working with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to allow compounding pharmacies to compound hand sanitizers to help relieve the nationwide shortage we are experiencing. 

Rep. Carter at the Jasper Green Wreath Laying Ceremony
Next, I head to Madison Square in downtown Savannah where I participate in an abbreviated Jasper Green Wreath Laying Ceremony with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.  Although the  community is deeply disappointed by the cancellation of this year’s parade and, although only a small crowd is present, honoring this Revolutionary War hero and all of our veterans is still very special.  My last conference call of the day is a GOP call with House Leadership to update us on this escalating situation, keep us informed and answer our questions.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020:  Although I’m uncertain how much Irish heritage I have, I was born and bred in Savannah, have lived here all of my life and have marched in numerous parades beginning when I was in high school.  Seeing the Hostess City of the South with empty streets on St. Patrick’s Day is a very sad sight.  However, as disheartening as it is, we all understand why this is happening and things seem to be getting even more serious as the coronavirus rages on.  After our daily all-staff conference call where we discuss the many issues that we are working on in our office, I head to the Savannah Old City Mission in downtown Savannah to drop off supplies donated by our office and film a short video with the Director of Development, Connell Stiles.  A link to this video can be found here

Rep. Carter volunteers at the Savannah Old City Mission
Next, I head back to our Savannah office where I have a member only Energy and Commerce  Committee (E&C) conference call and we discuss issues related to the pandemic on which the Committee is working.  Afterwards, I have a conference call with Clinch County Hospital CEO Angela Ammons to discuss the important role they, and all of our rural hospitals are playing in this situation.  After a conference call with Coastal Community Health Services, another of our fine FQHC’s in the district, I meet with representatives from Coastal Home Care, who are located in the same building as our offices, to discuss the important role of home care services during this time.  My last conference call of the day is with the leadership of Memorial Hospital in Savannah who are doing an outstanding job of preparing for this situation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020:  I’m up early this morning and in Hinesville in Liberty County at the First Baptist Church for a 7:00 a.m. Facebook Live prayer service with other leaders of the community, including Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown, Flemington Mayor Paul Hawkins, and Liberty County Commission Chair Donald Lovett.  A link to this service can be found here.  Later, we have our daily all-staff conference call and find that the number of issues we are working on is rapidly increasing.  I am very proud of our staff and the work they are doing to help people during these difficult times.  After a conference call with Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero where I learn of the great work our University System is doing to prepare for this, I have a phone call with National Park Service (NPS) regional director Bob Vogel followed by a conference call with some Savannah area restaurant owners.  Our local restaurants are a perfect example of the impact that this situation is having on small businesses.  My staff and I have been doing everything we can to patronize them by ordering take outs during this time. 

Rep. Carter tells Graham Hendricks of his acceptance to West Point
Next, I get a little relief from the coronavirus when I meet with Graham Hendricks from Benedictine High School in Savannah and surprise him with the news that he has received an appointment to West Point. After a conference call with another fine FQHC in our district, Diversity Health Clinic in Hinesville, I have a conference call with leadership at St. Joseph/Candler Hospital in Savannah, one of the health care leaders in this region who is doing a great job of keeping our district prepared.  My last conference call of the day is with a board member of Gray’s Reef to discuss a letter of support for funding.

Thursday, March 19, 2020:   After our daily all-staff conference call, I have a conference call with Chamber of Commerce leaders from throughout the district to hear their concerns and answer their questions before heading to River Street in Savannah where I film a video at Spanky’s restaurant highlighting their take-out services.  A link to the video can be found here.  Later, I have an E&C Committee conference call followed by a conference call with hospice social services in the Brunswick area. 

Rep. Carter volunteers at America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia
Afterwards, I head to America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia in Savannah to volunteer packing kid’s breakfasts and film a public service announcement (PSA).  A link to the PSA can be found here.  Next, I head to downtown Savannah to film this week’s Buddy’s Briefing before joining my last conference call of the day with the GOP Conference.

Friday, March 20, 2020:  After our daily all-staff conference call, I have a phone call with Guatemala’s Ambassador to the U.S., Alfonso Quinonez, to discuss the situation with H2A workers from Guatemala.  Our farmers depend on these seasonal workers and without them, they will not be able to harvest their crops.  The Ambassador and I have a great call and agree to work together on rectifying this situation.  Next, I have an on-camera interview with WTOC TV in Savannah to discuss the coronavirus situation followed by a phone interview with WJCL TV in Savannah to discuss the same topic before heading to Melody’s Coastal Café in Midway where I film a video highlighting their take out services.  A link to the video can be found here

Rep. Carter at Melody’s Coastal Café with the Liberty Chamber of Commerce
As I continue heading south in the district, I participate in a telebriefing on the 2019-nCoV response where officials from different agencies, including the FDA, CDC and HHS, bring us up to date on the response efforts.  Once in Brunswick in Glynn County, I join the Second Harvest Food Bank in delivering boxes of food to residents in an elder community complex.  I cannot say enough about the great work that our food banks and other service organizations are doing at this time.  This is truly America at its best.  Next, I head to our Brunswick office where I have a phone interview with WSAV TV in Savannah before heading downtown to locally owned restaurant Tipsy McSways where I film a video highlighting their services during this time. My last stop of a very busy week is at one of my many favorite restaurants in the district, Skipper’s in Darien in McIntosh County, where I film yet another video highlighting their services.